"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Biblical fruit

We planted our pomegranate trees 6-odd years ago.  I had read that they are hardy, drought-resistant fruit trees that can handle slightly brackish soil - which is just what we needed 😆  

However, I did them a dis-service by incorrectly pruning them for the first 2 years so our harvest has previously been disappointing.  So disappointing that RMan and I were discussing where it was worth continuing to give them some of our increasingly precious water supply.

Notwithstanding the drought conditions we are currently experiencing, the trees managed to grow 3 dozen-odd fruit between them.  I wonder how much the mulch helped??

I waited until the fruit showed a small crack on the skin and I harvested them at that point - before the birds could eat their fill.  The crack is a result of the seeds expanding within and overcrowding the confined space.  They are said to be at their best at that point.
Pomegranates hanging on the tree
Naturally, we couldn't wait to harvest them.  

It wasn't as difficult to harvest the kernels - I had read various reports on the complexity of doing so but we found it a breeze.
Apparently there are 613 seeds in a pomegranate
A couple were used in salads.
It was quite quick and simple to extract the seeds -
 certainly not as difficult as I had been led to believe it was
 And the rest were blitzed in order to harvest the juice.
The seeds were blitzed to access the juice
The inner "kernel" is a pest, but I discovered that the chickens will eat them - well, some of them.  Perhaps they were given too big a portion for their first taste 😂
The remaining "kernels" were drained in a sieve,
 to get every precious drop.  The chickens were then served
 the remains ;)
After they were blitzed I drained the resulting pulp in the sieve...
5 pomegranates produced 900 ml of pure pomegranate juice
 ...and retained the juice in a jug.

Chilling the jugful overnight in the fridge, we drank it's deliciousness the next morning with our breakfast.

How did it taste?

In a word - absolutely amazing!!

Is is slightly reminiscent of cranberry juice - with a slight tannin aftertaste - but it is amazing and naturally sweet.  Not overpoweringly, but pleasantly so.

I said to RMan, if I was lost in a desert and came across a single pomegranate tree - just one fruit would quench my thirst and give me enough energy to continue on my dry journey.

I will had always wondered how I would extract the juice.  Now I know how, I will be tending these trees more carefully next year.  The more delicious pomegranate juice we can harvest and drink the more RMan and I will love it 😆

T'is a pity I can't dehydrate the juicy pomegranate seeds.  As I hate to waste anything, I think I'm going to investigate drying the juiced kernel remnants and, if I can find a press, I am going to try and extract the oil that resides therein.  I reckon that would be amazing to add to my homemade soap.  Lots of if's - let's see what happens......


Sue said...

I've never tried one. Sounds delicious...and I'm sure it's really good FOR you!

Dani said...

Sue - I, too, hadn't enjoyed a pomegranate before like I enjoyed the juice.
Yup - very good for you 😉 Click on the link in the pomegranate word in the first paragraph for more info 😁

possumqueensa said...

Dani, how about pomegranate molasses? It's just reduced pomegranate juice and very yummy in middle eastern cooking.

Dani said...

pqsa - That's a good idea for when I have an abundant harvest. at the moment, Pommie juice is just to divine to use for anything other than drinking neat. Seriously addicitive... ;)

Diana Studer said...

What an amazing sunflower on your header! I buy a lot of sunflower seeds, maybe I should try growing them.

Dani said...

Diana - I grew them in order to supplement the chicken's feed. It worked well :D